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City Response to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updated May 22nd

LAST UPDATED May 22nd – 

Updates added on May 22nd are indicated in red text

#StaySafeMN 

Minnesota Case Information

Total positive tests: 19,005

  • Deaths: 842
  • Scott County Positive Cases: 316 (Deaths: 2)

Minnesota's Stay Safe order remains in effect. Under the order, we are asked to continue to: wash your hands often; get tested when sick; maintain social distance; wear a mask; and, stay home when able. For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, visit Stay Safe MN.

Health Resources

  • Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline (7 a.m. – 7 p.m.) 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903.
  • Mayo Clinic Health System patients in New Prague and the surrounding communities can call 952-758-4461 to reach a dedicated COVID-19 Nurse Line.
  • The CDC is recommending the use of cloth masks to limit the spread of COVID-19. Information on how to wear, make, use, and clean cloth masks is available here

Closures/Cancellations

  • The City has announced the following postponements:
    • Aquatic Center Open House: Postponed until further notice. A new date will be announced.
    • Online Swim Registration: Postponed unitl further notice. A new date will be announced.
    • Aquatic Center Opening: Postponed untill further notice. The opening date is assessed weekly and subject to State guidelines. 
    • May Communit yConversations: Postponed until further notice. The Business Expo will be rescheduled and is subject to State guidelines.
    • Citywide Clean Up/Recycling Day: Postponed unitl further notice. A new date is subject to State guidelines and vendor availability. 
  • Until further notice the public will not be able to access City buildings, but City business will continue. Scroll down for more information on how to access services on our website and phone contacts.
  • Belle Plaine Public Library (125 Main Street West) has added virtual activities to its website.
  • We will be reviewing all scheduled public meetings to determine whether they are necessary, whether they can be delayed, and whether they can be conducted electronically. Please view the City’s calendar for the latest updates on meetings and events.

Additional Actions by the City of Belle Plaine

  • On April 6th the City Council approved a modified schedule for payment of liquor license fees in Belle Plaine. Only 10% of the annual fee will be due on June 15th. The remaining fee due will be divided equally with one payment due on September 1st and the final payment due on December 1st. The Council took action to reduce burden on local businesses impacted by COVID-19 operational restrictions.
  • On April 6th the City Council authorized a 90-day freeze on loans issued to local businesses through the City.
  • City operations will continue to the greatest degree possible but changes may occur. Staff will remain working in many buildings and in the field to respond to citizens, maintenance/operational needs, inspections, and emergencies.
  • We encourage residents to conduct business with us electronically or over the phone to the greatest degree possible.  Payment may be made over the phone or online. Over the phone convenience fees are being waived until further notice. If you have questions please email info@ci.belleplaine.mn.us   
  • An activities page, Youth Connections, has been added to the City website to help occupy time while you #StayHomeMN
  • Late fees for April utility bills will be waived

Businesses and Workers

  • The City Council approved several local measures to help businesses at its May 18th meeting. The Council approved an emergency loan (forgivable program), a grant to help increase online footprint of any local business with a storefront, and free access to expert consultants who can help businesses with pivoting their business model, figuring what the next best move is, or helping develop a business idea. These programs are a good faith effort to help our local businesses but not a panacea. Please know the Council is trying to help businesses thorough this time. This link takes you to a landing page. Use the two links in the red bar at the top of the page to access info and applications for the emergency rent/mortgage loan program and the web presence loan program.The emergency loan is for ‘non-critical’ businesses with storefronts only. This program is up to $1,000 forgivable loan for rent or mortgage. Program funds limited. This loan is based on need that you demonstrate not on creditworthiness. It is NOT first come first served, rather we will be doing pool reviews. The first review is June 1 so get your applications in for that round by close of day Thursday May 28th. The web presence loan is for any business with a storefront that wants to increase online footprint whether that means creating a website, updating a website, adding e-commerce capabilities or whatever. This is $1,500 matching grant. If your project costs more than $3,000 we can look at issuing a standards loan for the remainder. If you are not sure you want to update your online footprint but would like a one-hour free consultation, we can arrange that too. The free expert advice is available to anyone looking for assistance. We will be conducting outreach over the next two weeks to get more info out in the public. 

  • Mn DEED, Target, Minnesota IT Services, and the Minnesota Safety Council have teamed up to create a tool to help Minnesota businesses called the MN Symptom Screener. The MN Symptom Screener is a new web-based tool that allows businesses to enter non-personal health information to help make a determination about someone entering their facility. MN Symptom Screener uses a few simple questions and also provides the option to record a daily temperature check. By aggregating and synthesizing this anonymous data, the MN Symptom Screener tool provides organizations with a daily snapshot of the health indicators of people about to enter the workplace. The tool is available at no cost to businesses and organizations statewide. You must register to use the tool.

  • Here's a great webinar hosted by SCORE featuring Small Business Revolution's Amanda Brinkman outlining actionable marketing strategies to help mom & pop shops weather the COVID storm.
  • The Small Business Association has resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders. Businesses must access the PPP funds through a local lender. In addition, the the SBA has resumed processing Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) loan and advance applications that are already in the queue on a first come, first-served basis. The SBA is expected to provide further information on the availability of the EIDL portal to receive new applications (including those from agricultural enterprises) soon. To learn more about the relief options available for your business, click here.
  • Grants and loans available to small businesses through the federal economic injury disaster loan and CARES Act Payroll Protection Program have been suspended as funds allocated have been exhausted. Minnesota's State Emergency Business (Forgivable) Loan is also suspended for the same reason. Talks continue at the federal level regarding a fourth relief measure to include assistance for small businesses. 
  • A sales and use tax grace period issued by Mn. Dept of Revenue has been extended. Businesses subject to Governor Walz’s 20-04 Executive Order with a monthly sales and use tax payment due March 20, 2020, will now have until May 20, 2020 to make that payment. Those with a monthly or quarterly payment due April 20, 2020, will now have until May 20, 2020 to make that payment. Businesses should still file the returns by the due date.
  • Emergency grant for childcare providers. Emergency grants are available for childcare providers. The grants are being administered by https://www.childcareawaremn.org/ and available to any licensed child care provider serving essential workers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. 
  • Help for self-employed people feeling the impact of COVID-19.
    • If you are self-employed and suffering from a lack of work/business due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be eligible to apply for unemployment through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. They are currently waiting for final clearance from the U.S. Department of Labor in order to begin offering unemployment benefits to self-employed people. In the interim they have created a helpful guide for people who are self-employed to begin the application process now.  
    • In addition, the Paycheck Protection Program may also be an option for self-employed people. The Small Business Owner’s guide to the CARES Act contains valuable information about how the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) could impact your business and a variety of options that will exist soon for your business. It also answers many common questions about the PPP. Please note that while the PPP was passed into law last week, it has not yet been implemented - the SBA is working around the clock (literally) to implement as soon as possible.

Grants

  • Grants for Veterans & their families:
    • Disaster Relief & Special Needs Grants available. The two programs support Veterans and their families experiencing negative effects or financial impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Disaster Relief Grant is a one-time grant in the amount of $1,000. To qualify the Applicant must be a Veteran or the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran, a Minnesota resident, and have experienced negative financial impact from the pandemic. Funding is limited, apply here
    • The Special Needs Grant provides one-time financial assistance to a Veteran or surviving spouse who needs assistance related to a pandemic related event. Funding goes directly to a vendor or creditor of the Applicant, not directly to the Applicant. To qualify the Applicant must be a Veteran or the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran, a Minnesota resident, and have experienced negative financial impact from the pandemic. Items covered by the Special Needs Grant can include: utility bills, auto insurance, rent/mortgage/contract for deed payments, medical bills, auto loan payments, auto repairs, furnace/AC repairs, or home repairs. Apply here
  • Grant - Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. Grants may be available to restaurant employees experiencing hardship, apply here.  According to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s website: The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (“Fund”) was created to help restaurant industry employees experiencing extraordinary hardship in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Other actions you can take to help

  • Try not to hoard items at the expense of everyone else.
  • Reach out to your neighbors in need of assistance, especially those in vulnerable populations.
  • Support the Belle Plaine Area Food Shelf and donate blood.
  • Our local faith communities and organizations can help.
  • Keep your family at ease and entertained. So many people are stepping up with great ideas and options, let’s do more! Share your ideas with us.
  • Learn how to talk to children about this outbreak.
  • Take a break from media coverage. Get outside and enjoy nature (and snow if we get more). Take care of your mental health during these stressful times.
  • Treat everyone with respect, give each other room to be a bit out of sorts. Distinguish legitimate and appropriate medical precautions from behaviors creating a stigma. Help us to continue to build a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone can safely access services and care. 
  • Scott County Library is offering curbside delivery!

Trustworthy Sources of Information and Updates Related to COVID-19

Scott County Public Health

Minnesota Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control

World Health Organization

Website Navigation/Access

To apply for a building permit, a zoning permit, or any other type of permit use the links at this page. PLEASE CALL WITH QUESTIONS 952-873-5553. You will need to download and complete the applicable application and then return it to City Hall along with payment by check or credit card. We may be able to take some payments over the phone. Return permits by:

  • Email to lblue@ci.belleplaine.mn.us,
  • Putting it in the drop box at 218 Meridian St North
  • Faxing to 952-873-5509
  • Or sending it via postal mail to: City of Belle Plaine, P.O. Box 129, Belle Plaine MN 56011

You may send your utility bill payment by mail, drop it in the drop box at City Hall, pay your utility bill online or you may call and pay your utility bill over the phone 952-873-5553 (a convenience fee will not apply). To pay your utility bill online you must create an account. You will need the company name or the last name from your utility bill along with your 13-digit account number. Use the ‘utilities’ tab.

 

 

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